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Omicron spreading fast

Haywood County Public Health has received notice of 120 new cases of COVID-19 in the last week compared to 156 the previous week. As of Dec. 20, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has recorded a total of 8,280 cases in Haywood County since the pandemic began. 

Wearing masks is encouraged whenever you plan to be indoors in public areas. Masks are required for employees and the public in all Haywood County government facilities including the courthouse, libraries, and public health buildings.

According to the CDC, all of North Carolina is listed as an area of high or substantial community transmission. All surrounding states are also high-transmission areas. This week 90.4 percent of new COVID cases were unvaccinated. Nearly all of those who require hospitalization are unvaccinated. 

Three weeks after first being detected in the United States, the newest COVID-19 variant, Omicron, has quickly become the dominant variant in the United States, making up over 70% of new cases, according to the CDC. Given its rapid spread across the country, it is now safe to assume that the Omicron variant is here in Western North Carolina.

Vaccination appointments are available on a walk-in basis at the health department. To schedule an appointment, call 828.356.2019.

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